European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 270, Issue 5, pp 1757–1761 | Cite as

Cochlear implantation in a child with posttraumatic single-sided deafness

  • Stefan K. Plontke
  • Cornelia Heider
  • Sabrina Koesling
  • Sören Hess
  • Lars Bieseke
  • Gerrit Goetze
  • Torsten Rahne
Case Report


Cochlear implantation has become a standard therapy for children with bilateral profound hearing loss, resulting in substantial and sustainable benefits for the development of expressive and receptive and expressive language skills and cognition. During the last few years, audiologic and otologic criteria for cochlear implantation have been expanded. Recently, patients with profound single-sided deafness with or without tinnitus have received cochlear implants despite normal to near-normal hearing on the contralateral side. This indication, however, has thus far been restricted to adult patients. Although it is known that unilateral hearing has an impact on social-emotional development in children, otologic surgeons have been reluctant to treat children with single-sided deafness with a cochlear implant. We report here on a case of successful cochlear implantation in an 8-year-old boy with acute single-sided deafness due to a lateral skull-base fracture, after an MRI showed signs of imminent fibrosis of the inner ear with possible prevention of cochlear implantation at a later stage. There was normal hearing in the contralateral ear. The child showed rapid development of speech discrimination in the implanted ear, improvements in sound localization and speech perception in noise, and a high degree of patient satisfaction. This experience may encourage using this therapeutic approach in children with chronic profound single-sided deafness.


Child Cochlear implant Hearing loss Single-sided deafness (SSD) Temporal bone fracture Unilateral hearing loss (UHL) 



Angle-detection error


Bone-anchored hearing aids


Cochlear implant


Constructive interference steady-state sequence


Contralateral routing of sound


Computed tomography




Hearing level


Magnetic resonance imaging


Normalized hearing level


Oldenbourg sentence test


Speech discrimination score


Sound pressure level


Single-sided deafness


Speech reception threshold


Unilateral hearing loss



The authors wish to thank Jill Firszt, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, and John Dornhoffer, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, for comments on the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

T. Rahne has a research cooperation with Cochlear Ltd. (Hannover, Germany) including reimbursements for research and traveling costs. This work was not sponsored by Cochlear Ltd. S. Plontke is a consultant to Otonomy, Inc., San Diego, CA. This work was not sponsored by Otonomy, Inc.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan K. Plontke
    • 1
  • Cornelia Heider
    • 1
  • Sabrina Koesling
    • 2
  • Sören Hess
    • 3
  • Lars Bieseke
    • 1
  • Gerrit Goetze
    • 1
  • Torsten Rahne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck SurgeryHearing and Implant Center Halle, University of Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyUniversity of Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany

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